Employee Meal 6.23.11 (Spiced Hummus and Baba Ghanouj with Caramelized Onions)

Hummus and Baba Ghanouj are two of my favorite warm-weather recipes, and the kitchen was steaming today so I made them for lunch. They are so easy to make and at the same time so satisfying. They're also really versatile and I tend to change the recipes every time I make them. Below are basic recipes for both of these dishes, but with the versions I made today I added caramelized onion and garlic to the baba ghanouj along with a bit of smoked paprika (mmm...I love the flavor and depth smoked paprika adds to a dish like this), and to the hummus--in addition to caramelized onion--I also added a variety of spices; mainly turmeric (hence the yellow hue), but also cumin, coriander, allspice, and a sprinkle of ancho chile powder. I garnished it with fresh and roast vegetables, including roast and marinated eggplant; drizzled the entire platter with virgin olive oil just before serving and ate it with whole grain flatbread. It was so good my mouth waters as I type these words.

Hummus bil Tahina
Yield: 3-1/2 cups
3 cups chickpeas
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup tahini (sesame butter)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Purée the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor, add the tahini, lemon juice, water, salt, and cayenne pepper; purée another minute or two until the mixture is smooth.

Baba Ghanouj
Yield: 3-1/2 cups
3 medium eggplant
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup tahini
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt

Split the eggplant lengthwise and brush them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the eggplant cut-side down on a sheet-pan and roast at 450F for 20-30 minutes or until the eggplant is very soft. Allow the eggplant to cool to room temperature. Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant and discard the skins. Place it in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes. Transfer to food processor along with the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Puree until smooth.


Pangolin said…
Try achiote paste or powder in the hummus sometime. It adds a nice spicy flavor and red color but isn't really hot.
Joe said…

I love the flavor of anchovy...it sounds really interesting.
Pangolin said…
That's not a misspelling. I am referring to the spice called 'achiote' or 'annatto.' It's bright red and has a flavor somewhere between chile and lemon grass.


It's best to buy the powder or paste since the seeds are extremely hard and will smoke your spice grinder before they give up. They can also be simmered in oil.
Joe said…
Ahh...my bad. I read it quickly and thought it said anchovy (which still sounds good to me). Yes I am aware of achiote and annatto...we have a large Hispanic population in Buffalo; it's a very popular and traditional ingredient they use to flavor and color rice. Never had it in hummus though; I'll have to try it. Thanks.